Groups call for Covid-19 to be declared an occupational disease to better protect workers

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 02 Apr 2020

PETALING JAYA: A group of 51 organisations and trade unions have called on the Malaysian Government to declare Covid-19 an occupational disease under the law to ensure social protection for all workers and their families.

They said that by doing so, workers who are infected by Covid-19 at their workplace, even during this period, will become entitled to social protection accorded by social security schemes and laws.

“Employers have a duty in law to ensure a safe working environment, and will also now be required to ensure that the workplace is safe from Covid-19 and/or any other dangerous communicable diseases, especially those can result in death or other permanent disabilities, ” the group said in a joint statement on Thursday (April 2).

These groups included the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC), North-South Initiative (NSI), National Union of Banking Employees (NUBE), the National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (Nufam) and the Network of Action for Migrants in Malaysia (NAMM).

They added that all ailments, not just Covid-19, which can cause death or other disabilities that may impact these workers' future employment and income, ought to be specifically classified as occupational diseases, and workers should be accorded all benefits under social protection laws.

“These laws should apply to all workers, including migrant workers and domestic workers.

“In Malaysia, local workers are generally covered by the Employees Social Security Act 1969, which provides better protection to workers and/or their families compared to the Workmen’s Compensation Act 1952 that generally covered migrant workers. There must be equal protection for all workers, even domestic workers, ” they said.

They said that the Human Resource Minister can use the powers conferred by subsection 32(2) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 (Act 514), and declare that Covid-19 be recognised as an occupational disease.

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Nation

If there are calls, I am open to being PM for a third time, says Dr M
Zahid: Opposition delirious for taking credit for political stability
Man held after smashing car window to steal flour
Cops arrest two, seize RM2mil worth of ciggies in Kota Tinggi smuggling bust
Sukma 2022: Johor hits top of medal tally
Cops probe rally outside KL shopping complex
Over RM1.2bil allocated for rural roads, says Mahdzir
Increase in demand for domestic tourism, says Tourism Malaysia
GE15: PBM to only contest seats held by elected reps, says Zuraida
MAHB apologises for flood at Penang International Airport

Others Also Read